Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #307

Child in his Parents' Bed
Q: Our child wakes up in the middle of the night with bad dreams and comes into our bed.  Should we insist he goes back or let him stay?
A: In general, you should bring him back to his bed and sit next to him with your hand on him until he falls asleep.  However, in special cases, it is permissible to let him stay if it is difficult for him.

Calling Parents by Their First Names
Q: My parents want me to call them by their first names.  Is it permissible, or forbidden on account of honoring parents?
A: Their will is their honor.  Tosafot Kiddushin (31b d.h. Rebbe Tarfon) in the name of the Yerushalmi. 

Kippah Made from Hair
Q: Someone made Kippot out of hair.  Is it permissible to wear such a Kippah outside of Israel in a place which is dangerous for Jews?
A: Some forbid wearing a toupée without a Kippah on account of Maarit Ayin.  Mishnah Berurah 2:12.  This is the ruling of the halachic authorities, that one needs a recognizable Kippah (This is also the opinion of Ha-Rav Yaakov Kamenetzky.  Emet Le-Yaakov on the Shulchan Aruch ibid.).  Nonetheless, in a pressing circumstance, it is permissible to cover one's head with a toupee (see Mishnah Berurah ibid.).  This is on condition that the Rabbis of that place permit it.  It is preferable, however, to wear a hat that is not unique to Jews (Piskei Teshuvot 2 note #57).  It is true that if one is asked if he is a Jew, it is forbidden for him to say that he is a non-Jew.  But the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh Deah 157:2) already permits one to wear non-Jewish clothing so as to appear as a non-Jew, on condition that he not declare that he is a non-Jew (Regarding this question during the Holocuast, see Shut Mi-Maamakim of Ha-Rav Ephraim Oshry 1:15, 4:12, 5:3).  And there is obviously an even greater solution: Making Aliyah.  Here, in Eretz Yisrael, one can proudly wear a Kippah.

Guarding One's Tongue
Q: How can I refrain from speaking Lashon Ha-Ra?  It is impossible!
A: Incorrect.  The more one accustoms himself to refrain, the easier it gets.  Furthermore, even speaking less Lashon Ha-Ra has great value.  Introduction to Sefer Shemirat Ha-Lashon of the Chafetz Chaim.

Snacks in the Dorm
Q: Is it permissible to take snacks and cookies from friends in a dormitory without asking, or is this stealing?
A: It is permissible if one is 100% sure that the friend would agree with all of his heart, and not only because he doesn't feel right refusing.

Officer of Soldiers who are Torah Scholars
Q: I am an officer in Tzahal and I have soldiers who are Torah scholars.  How should I relate to them?  Is it permissible for me to put them on the duty roster?
A: Everything is permissible.  1. It is the same "Pikuach Nefesh" which permits doing so for every soldier.  2. A Rav may forgo the honor due to him.  Kiddushin 32a.  And when a person is drafted into the army, he forgoes his honor.  3. Although a Rav may not forgo a disgrace to him, here it is for the best of the soldier himself.  This is similar to the halachah which a son can make his father grind on a mill.  Kiddushin 31a-b.  And it is for the best of the soldier that he be part of the duty roster so that the other soliders do not complain, unless they themselves initiate exempting Torah scholars from the list.  See too the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh Deah 243:a) that a Torah scholar is exempt from all types of guarding, but he is obligated if it is Pikuach Nefesh.  Shut Ha-Radvaz brought in the Pitchei Teshuvot there.

Picture of the Temple Mount
Q: Is it permissible to use a picture taken by someone who entered the Temple Mount?
A: Certainly not.  It was taken by way of a transgression.

Stupid Questions
Q: Why does Ha-Rav answer stupid question?

A: The person who asked the question is also a person who deserves respect and an answer.  In general, it is not your role to give Mussar to others who ask questions.